Next year I’m going to…
The end of 2017 is at the door. Have you made any New Year’s resolutions yet? Do you plan to exercise more often and/or eat healthier food? How about reading? Are there any specific books on your list for 2018? What about reading the whole Bible in one year?
At the beginning of a new year we are so enthusiastic and stick to our perfect plans. Then, as time passes by, things seem to get out of hand, the odds are against us and the resolutions we’ve made fall apart.
- Be realistic. Keep your plans short and simple.
- Know your purpose. Keep priorities straight. Know that doing more does not add more purpose to your life. In fact, if you want to do more than you can handle you will end up doing less. Meaning, the more things you pick up the less you will have time for other — perhaps more important — things and the less effort you will put into them.
- Choose your plan wisely then stick to it. The trick here is not in choosing the best plan but in sticking to the one you’ve picked.
- Master challenges. Expect temptations, know how to handle them before they arrive.
Keep it simple. Be realistic! Instead of creating an exercise plan that has 50 sit-ups and a 5km run in the morning, 5 hours of swimming and 20km cycling per week and whatever more on it, start out with a few basics training exercises. Once you’ve made them a habit in your life you can always add more.
Know your purpose and the priorities in your life. Don’t sign up for a Theology course just because somebody tells you to. Your purpose is to live for God and to enjoy Him forever. That doesn’t necessarily come through more knowledge of Theology — but perhaps in a more practical way like cooking and serving food, taking care of people or even cleaning homes of the physically disabled. Also, think of the role/s God has given you (helpmate, mother) and give your best to make them top priority in your life.
Choose your plan wisely. I’m gifted with organizational skills, so coming up with plans is not a problem for me. However, my plans have failed me before — especially whenever I rushed into using them. I found it best to take time, not just for planning but also for thinking it over. There is no such thing as a perfect plan, though. Make the best possible choice and stick to it to gain the most out of it.
Know beforehand what to expect. When I quit smoking years ago, I knew that temptations would arise. It’s not any different when you are on a fast: you don’t want to bump into people who are eating or who are even talking about food. But, guess what? You will! So, get ready! Something to include in your plan is: What will I do, if…
The way I quit smoking was to go on a fast. I knew that at one stage in the day my body would scream: Give me a cigarette! I fasted daily and knew that these tempations do come up. At the end of the day I gave my body the choice: “Cigarette or food? You can only have one!” Guess what 🙂 Before I quit smoking I drank a lot of coffee. And, while enjoying each cup of freshly brewed coffee I’ve smoked a cigarette — the two just matched so perfectly 😉 So during my fast, I avoided all coffee until I mastered to quit smoking.
Think about your New Year’s resolutions. Look back to the times they have not worked out: was it too much to accomplish in a certain time? Did you come up with the plan or did somebody else talk you into it? Did you consider unexpected challenges before starting your resolutions?